You May Not Want to Read This
Maggots make most people cringe. Those fat little white larvae that eventually become houseflies, seen wiggling around in rotting food or in road kill, can be incredibly creepy. So we can’t fault you if you don’t want to read on, because this article is about maggots found in feeding tubes and wounds at nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.
Maggots are part of the cycle of life on our earth. Flies lay their eggs on food sources, the eggs hatch, and maggots emerge and begin to eat and eat. Frankly, there’d be no room for the living on our planet if insects such as maggots didn’t “clean up.” But, understandably, no one wants to think about the situations we are about to describe. It may make you uncomfortable, but the truth is the truth.
Maggots in an Ear
In a case from May of 2015, a judge ordered The Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights, IL, to pay $250,000 to a woman’s family, because in 2012, 57 maggots were found in one of her ears. The woman was unable to communicate verbally with others, but apparently knew something was wrong because she kept tugging at her left ear. It was claimed in court that the maggot infestation started a chain of events leading directly to the woman’s death a few months later.
Maggots in Feeding Tubes
A recent Medicare.gov investigation gave low marks to a nursing home chain in PA and MD, and for good reason. After various accounts of troubles, it was reported in October, 2015, that maggots were found in a patient’s feeding tube in a nursing home located in Upper Allen Township, PA. The inspection report stated that a nurse found “worm like bugs found crawling all around the PEG tube and surrounding tissue.”
The patient supposedly said, once the maggots were seen around the feeding tube’s site, “Maybe this is why my stomach has been burning.”
Multiple problems led to the maggot infestation. Feeding tubes were not changed often enough, pest control was insufficient, and patients were not kept properly hydrated. These and other deficiencies resulted in the shocking situation described in the inspection report.
Maggots in Bandaged Wounds
Two reported cases involved maggots found in wounds. One, in a Medicare and Medicaid residential provider in Bowling Green, KY, stated that the patient’s wound has not had care for three months. Maggots were identified in the wound during September, 2014.
Also in 2014, in Bangor, Maine, a nursing home faced federal sanctions for maggots found in a chest wound. The inspection, done by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, found that flies had entered the building because of torn and missing screens on windows.
In Indiana, there were cases of maggot-infested wounds in nursing homes and assisted living centers in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
When others breach their duty, we keep ours.
Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Indiana are part of a larger chain. They have a full-time legal department and resources to routinely dispute abuse and neglect claims. Too often, they are focused on shareholder profits rather than patient safety.
At McNeely Stephenson we will work with you to hold the abusers accountable for the pain and suffering they cause. Your elderly loved ones deserve to live in safety and dignity. A lawsuit against an Indiana nursing home won’t undo what has already been done, but it can recover the large sums of money you have paid the negligent facility and any medical expenses caused by the abuse.
If you suspect a nursing home has been neglectful or abusive to your loved one, contact Mike Stephenson at 317-825-5200, or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation. At McNeely Stephenson, we believe justice matters.